A combination of Claire and Fin being poorly and dire weather had prevented our planned over-nighter on Eileen, so today, it being the last day of the holidays, we decided to drive over to Braunston, have lunch and then go on to The Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend.

Lunch at The Boat House coincided with a rare burst of sunshine and we sat outside in the garden, somewhat wistfully watching the boats pass by and wishing it was us.

Lunch was dire, quite possibly the worst meal I’ve had the misfortune to eat, there’s nothing positive I can say about it – truly awful.

Deteriorating weather and very tired kids meant that our visit to Stoke Bruerne was unfortunately cut short and we only saw a few of the working boats gathered there. Still it’s a delightful setting, and what we saw we made us determined to return on a quieter day, with (hopefully) less fractious/poorly children!

The poster for this year’s gala. Stressing the piratical theme. Ah-Ha!!!
There’s few places beat Stoke Bruerne. The canalside cottages and museum building and the Boat Inn combine with gently rolling hills, a wooded valley and the lock flight to create a near perfect setting.
The Union Jack plastic bag, the wild flower cuttings and a pair of pale English legs passing in the top left hand corner – it’s a snapshot of summer in England…
An array of white tents pitched alongside the Museum filled with food, crafts and bric-a-brac stalls. A village fete by the water’s edge. (ps. We really coveted those crochet blankets, they’d look just grand in the back cabin!)
Is that Alan Fincher on Sickle? Nerve-racking stuff undertaking any kind of manoeuvre in front of a large crowd with camera at the ready to record your slightest mistake! Having had a look at Alan’s ‘Sickle & Chalice website, perhaps this isn’t him, see http://sickleandchalice.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/stoke-bruerne-canal-gala-sunday.html. Does anyone have the definitive answer?
With this shot momentarily blocking out the crowds that filled the towpath, something of the charm of the setting returns…
Joe is fascinated by this model narrowboat with live smoke steaming from the back cabin chimney… ‘Can I have it Dad???’
Good to see the old working boats, every detail of them fascinates me.
We seem to be trailing President about the waterways this summer, from Little Venice to the Thames and now here to Stoke Bruerne.
Kestrel in fine fettle… but what’s the strange mistiness in the background???
A fantastical pirate ship invades the village… shrouded in wreathes of orange, blue and brown smoke….
Ah-Ha me hearties!!! – the pirate’s antics quite overwhelmed the boys who found it all too much and burst into tears as the pops and bangs echoed across the valley and the flares flared and smoke billowed.
Three words that encapsulate an English fete in Summer.

4 thoughts on “Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend 2012

  1. I can’t read all your captioning of Sickle picture for some reason, but no!, that is neither me nor Cath on board. If you peerinto the distance we can be seen setting the lock, (I’m in a mainly red Rugby shirt). If you read our blog, then it explains who the steerer is!


    1. Sorry about that Alan… I thought I’d got it wrong when I’d read your posts. Thanks for clearing things up.

      Very best wishes



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